Jesse’s Half-Marathon Run in the Oakland Running Festival, March 28, 2010

This year the City of Oakland sponsored its first marathon

in 25 years. Jesse signed up for the half-marathon (13.1 miles) and trained for several months with grueling runs that happened regardless of whether it was raining or the ground was quaking.

It all came to fruition last Sunday, when Jesse was among the 3607 entrants who ran the half-marathon.

Family members brought cameras and stationed themselves at different points along the way to shout to Jesse and photograph her.

Above you see Jesse running past the Oakland Museum with her water bottle in her hand. You have to take my word that there were a thousand runners before her and another thousand after her, but by mile 3 here they were already pretty widely spaced.

Below is Jesse at miles 8 and 9.

Mile 8, North OaklandMile 9, Lake Merritt

You can see another half-dozen pictures of her at various stages in the run at Strangely, she is smiling in all of them, leaving us to wonder whether there's something she knows that we don't.

To the right is Old Smiley at the finish line, holding her medal. She finished in the first half of the group, in less than 2.5 hours. I do believe I saw her pass some Kenyans as she ran.

From the finish line Jesse met up with Martha, who brought her to my place, where the celebration began.

Jesse was sent upstairs to the shower before being allowed to mingle with the other guests.

Meanwhile the food operation shifted into gear. Christina prepared about a hundred snacks. The most outstanding ingredients were prasky (a Chicago delicacy which my brother Bob had ordered from Chicago the week before for my birthday) and cilantro spread (which Susan had made and brought).

At the same time, Daniel baked and broiled a huge assortment of Chicago sausages, also from my brother. They're from the Crawford Sausage Company and will hold up to any sausage you care to mention from anywhere around the globe. As was noted during the meal, the sphere may be the perfect shape, but next to the sphere is the sausage.

Below is the first batch of sausages, along with a cucumber salad and some Thai noodles that I fixed, plus a sourdough loaf from Martha.

And the guests.

Jesse & Martha.JesseSusanChrstina & Daniel

We ended with an extraordinary cake from Susan the sculptor, a dessert of newton cookies glued together with whipped cream fashioned by me, and a box of Berkeley-made chocolates from Martha.

Cake and pseudo-cake

Either the chocolates were too pretty or the guests were too full, but believe it or not, not a one of them was consumed at the meal. Apologies to Martha for this. Maybe we all were thinking forward to our run in the next Oakland marathon.

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